Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to be a part of a new exhibition on view until November 23, 2013, at The Grolier Club in New York City. Designed and curated to interest a wide audience, Extraordinary Women in Science and Medicine: Four Centuries of Achievement opens a window onto the stories behind the careers and accomplishments of women in science since the mid-seventeenth century. The exhibition will focus on the women from viewpoints such as educational opportunities or lack thereof, career choice issues, gender discrimination, role models, and hidden factors that influenced recognition or lack of recognition. Events planned in conjunction with the exhibition will include invited lectures, lectures by the Curators, and opportunities for mentored visits. There will be a catalogue including invited essays.
Established in 1884, the Grolier Club is America’s oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts. The Club is named after Jean Grolier, the French Renaissance collector renowned for sharing his library with friends. The Grolier Club’s objective is to foster appreciation for books and prints, their art, history, production, and commerce. As part of this mission the Grolier Club maintains a library, mounts exhibitions, publishes books, and hosts lectures and symposia. In its 125-year history the Club has organized more than five hundred such exhibitions on topics ranging from Blake to Kipling, from chess to murder mysteries, from Japanese prints to Art Nouveau posters. There are four shows a year in the Club’s main ground floor gallery, all open to the public free of charge.
Featured in the Grolier Club’s Extraordinary Women in Science and Medicine: Four Centuries of Achievement are three items from NLM’s collections, two works by Louise Bourgeois Boursier; Observations diverses, sur la sterilité, perte de fruict, foecondité, accouchements, et maladies des femmes, et enfants nouveaux naiz (1617) and The Compleat midwife’s practice enlarged (1663), and Recherches quantitatives sur la marche du processus de différenciation des neurones dans les ganglions spinaux de l’embryon de Poulet, (1943), co-authored by Rita Levi-Montalcini and her husband Giuseppe Levi. Boursier’s Observations and Compleat midwife’s practice are, respectively, the French original and an English translation (both 17th century) of the first extensive textbook on midwifery written by a woman. Mme. Bourgeois Boursier (1563–1636) was midwife to Marie de Medicis, wife of Henry IV, King of France, and delivered six children for the queen, all of whom survived to adulthood, including one future king of France, two queens (England and Spain), two dukes and a duchess. Her book was reprinted many times and widely translated.
Rita Levi-Montalcini (1909–2012) won the Nobel Prize in 1986 for her work in neurology, specifically working on the growth of nerve fibers. As a Jew in Italy in the 1930s and 1940s, she worked under the constant threat of arrest and imprisonment by the Fascist regimes that controlled her home country. Nevertheless, she continued to work in a makeshift lab in her kitchen in Turin, measuring nerve development in chicken embryos. Levi-Montalcini’s Recherches quantitatives, a seminal article which summarizes her work, could not be published in Italy, and somehow made it into print in Liege instead. Levi-Montalcini never left Italy during the war, although she and her family fled south to Florence and she eventually worked as a physician with the Allied forces. In 1946, she emigrated to the United States, where she continued her research at Washington University and then jointly in Rome at the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche. She remained active in both medicine and politics until her death in 2012, at the age of 103.
What do air travel, dandruff, patient harm, and social determinants of health have in common? They are all new 2014 MeSH descriptors!
The Introduction to MeSH 2014 is now available, including information on its use and structure, as well as recent updates and availability of data. MeSH vocabulary changes for 2014 lists include:
Additionally, the entire MeSH vocabulary is available to download in XML and ASCII format.
The National Library of Medicine has launched a traveling banner exhibition and online adaptation of Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture, an exploration of the rise of AIDS in the early 1980′s and the evolving response to the epidemic over the last 30 years. In 1981, a new disease appeared in the United States. Reactions to the disease, soon named AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), varied. The exhibition illustrates an iconic history of AIDS alongside lesser-known examples of historical figures who changed the course of the pandemic. Utilizing a variety of historic photographs, pamphlets, and publications, Surviving and Thriving is divided into five historical investigations, each of which highlights how different groups responded to AIDS. Early responders cared for the sick, fought homophobia, and promoted new practices to keep people healthy. Scientists and public health officials struggled to understand the disease and how it spread. Politicians remained largely silent until the epidemic became too big to ignore. Activists demanded that people with AIDS be part of the solution. Early stops for the traveling banner exhibition include the University of California, San Francisco, CA, during November 25, 2013, to January 4, 2014.
The title Surviving and Thriving comes from a book written in 1987 by and for people with AIDS that insisted people could live with AIDS, not just die from it. Jennifer Brier, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago), the exhibition’s curator, explains that, “centering the experience of people with AIDS in the exhibition allows us to see how critical they were, and continue to be, in the political and medical fight against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS.” This exhibition presents their stories alongside those of others involved in the national AIDS crisis. The companion website includes an extensive selection of NLM’s diverse poster collection about HIV/AIDS. This “Digital Gallery” displays 238 posters grouped into fifteen thematic clusters, providing viewers new historical avenues to explore beyond the exhibition. Brier sees these as invaluable resources for multiple audiences: “not only will these visual materials be incredibly useful for teachers interested in engaging students in historical thinking about HIV/AIDS, but they will also allow the general public to learn more about how public health efforts relied on graphic design and imagery to effect behavior change.” The website is augmented by education resources that investigate the exhibition content, including two lesson plans for grades 10-12; three six-class higher education modules; and two online activities. In addition, a selection of published landmark HIV/AIDS articles are provided by NLM’s PubMed Central, which freely provides access to over 2.8 million life science journal articles, and modern day information is provided by AIDSInfo/InfoSIDA.
For more information about booking the Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture exhibit for your library, visit the traveling banner exhibition web site!
On December 12, 2013, staff from the National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) and NLM will present NLM Express: A PubMed® Update for PSR Network members and others who register. Learn about recently added PubMed features and interface changes from the last six months, and bring your PubMed questions to this online webinar!
PubMed® for Trainers is coming to our region (San Francisco) in February, 2014. The hybrid sessions run from Thursday, February 6, 2014 – February 26, 2014. Three of the session are online, with the final one conducted in-person at the UCSF Library and Center for Knowledge Management. Class participants are eligible for 15 MLA CE credits. The class is an in-depth look at PubMed and a chance to share training ideas with your fellow participants! This hands-on course consists of lectures, individual exercises, group work, and discussions, with approximately 2-3 hours of independent work to be done outside of class time. All sessions must be attended to receive credit. The in-person Session Four is in San Francisco on February 26, 2014, 9 am – 4:30 pm PT. Registration is now available!
TOXNET® and Beyond is designed to convey the basics of searching the NLM’s TOXNET®, a Web-based system of databases in the areas of toxicology, environmental health, and related fields. TOXNET® is a free class, offering 6.0 MLA continuing education credits. This daylong in-person course will be held Thursday, February 27, 2014, beginning at 9:00 AM PT in San Francisco at UCSF. Registration is now available!
For questions about the Pacific Southwest Region training program, please contact Kay Deeney, Educational Services Coordinator.
F. W. “Wilf” Lancaster, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science and former NLM employee, passed away on Sunday, August 25, 2013, in Urbana, IL. Wilf’s contributions to the NLM in the early days of automated information retrieval have had a lasting impact on our information systems and services. His work as a professor and mentor also benefited the Library, as he led many fine graduate students to pursue careers at the NLM. With his passing, NLM remembers a colleague and friend.
Wilf earned a reputation for greatness in the evaluation of information storage and retrieval systems, based in part on his early experience with a comprehensive evaluation of NLM’s MEDLARS (MEDical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System). The evaluation of the MEDLARS Demand Search Service in 1966 and 1967 was one of the earliest evaluations of a computer-based retrieval system and the first application of recall and precision measures in a large, operational database setting. The use of computers for bibliographic retrieval systems was in its infancy, and many of the extant systems were small or experimental. Planning for the evaluation began in December 1965, when Wilf joined the NLM staff as Information Systems Evaluator. Following completion of the MEDLARS evaluation, he developed NLM training programs in his roles as Deputy Chief of the Bibliographic Services Division and Special Assistant to the Associate Director for Library Operations.
In 1970-1971, Wilf conducted an evaluation of the MEDLARS AIM-TWX system, an innovative experimental service that was the precursor of MEDLINE/PubMed. This was an important study of early online systems and their direct use by end users. Written more than 40 years ago, his report reflects his signature forward-thinking attitude toward system design, as relevant today as then: “We should always look for ways of improving retrieval systems and making them more attractive to potential users. The philosophy that ‘the system is used, therefore it is good’ is a very shallow one. We must not assume that a system having appeal today will always retain this appeal….novelty wears off and system designers cannot afford to rest too long on their laurels. In the past, users have been required to adapt to the information system. In the future systems must be designed that adapt to the users.”
For further information on Wilf’s extraordinary accomplishments and influence, see the Festschrift published in his honor by Library Trends in 2008, “Essays Honoring the Legacy of F. W. Lancaster,” (Volume 56, Issue 4). One of the articles, entitled “Excellence in Evaluation: Early Landmarks at the National Library of Medicine,” focuses on his work at NLM and was used as the source for the above summary of contributions to NLM. His obituary is also available online.
Eight journalists represent this year’s class of AHCJ-National Library of Medicine fellows. The fellowship program was created to increase reporters’ access and understanding of the resources available at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health.
The journalists chosen to take part this year are:
- Betsy Agnvall, features editor, AARP Bulletin
- Kristine Crane, science & health writer, The Gainesville(FL) Sun
- Robert Fulton, independent journalist, Los Angeles
- Christine Gorman, senior editor, Scientific American
- Elizabeth Landau, writer/producer, CNN.com
- Valerie Lego, health reporter, WZZM-Grand Rapids, MI
- Robert Lott, editor of special content, Health Affairs
- Kerry Sheridan, health and science writer, Agence France-Presse
The fellows’ visit to the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, September 15-19, includes hands-on workshops about how to use and get the most from government research databases, such as PubMed, MedlinePlus, ClinicalTrials.gov and ToxNet. Fellows also will meet with senior NLM and NIH researchers and officials for exclusive informational sessions. The fellows were selected from 42 qualified applicants. AHCJ is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public understanding of health care issues. With more than 1,400 members, its mission is to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing. The association and its Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism are based at the Missouri School of Journalism.
NLM has funded and shaped biomedical informatics education and training for 35 years, including programs to reach physicians and other health care professionals, biomedical science faculty, librarians, and students. Over the next ten years a greatly expanded and more diverse workforce of health care professionals, informaticians, and librarians trained in informatics will be needed to develop and deploy systems to support basic, clinical, and translational research, to support telemedicine and electronic health records, and to support the use of literature and genomic databases.
NLM has issued a request for proposals to select a host institution for the NLM Biomedical Informatics Training Course. Please see the Request for Proposals for details; and share with any institution or organization you think might be interested. The application deadline is October 9, 2013. Selected institutions will be expected to host up to l0 semiannual one-week residential sessions over a period of 5 years (one per year, with an option to offer a second course each year) to train approximately 30 selected health professionals, scientists, and information professionals per class. One award is anticipated to be made on or about February 15, 2014.
An updated version of TOXNET (TOXicology Data NETwork) will be released in 2014. The new design will offer seamless navigation for non-professionals as well as professionals. The update will include a more current look and feel, improved interactive capabilities, and a better integrated “All Search Results” feature.
TOXNET is a group of databases covering toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and related areas. The Web interface provides an easy way to search databases of varying formats and content. It can be used to locate toxicology data, literature references, and toxics release information on particular chemicals, as well as to identify chemicals that cause specific effects. TOXNET was originally designed and developed prior to the Internet, primarily for a professional audience. It has become increasingly important for its data to be accessible for a wide variety of users, many of whom are not professionals in the toxicological fields, and who are not familiar with the related vocabulary and acronyms.
Young Invincibles and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have created a competition that will tap into the creativity and energy of young Americans while raising awareness about the new Health Care Law and encouraging young people to take advantage of the benefits of health insurance. There’s a prize pool worth up to $30,000 and over 100 prizes to be won. Cash prizes will be awarded to the creators of the best videos in three distinct categories; so whether you’ve got a talent for short films, writing a great song, or designing an entertaining video infographic, you can be a winner!
Submit your video on the official Healthy Young America website by September 23, 2013. A public voting period will follow to help determine the Finalists in each category, and a final round of voting and judging will determine who takes home the Grand Prize.
Californians can now see specific rates from competing health plans on a new state-run insurance market set to open October 1. Covered California, the new state marketplace, recently launched an online feature enabling consumers to get detailed price comparisons for their area for the first time. Previously, the state’s online calculator gave general estimates of statewide premiums without any comparison of different plans and prices. Starting in January, health insurance premiums will be based on a person’s age and location. Separately, federal subsidies are available to help pay premiums based on household income and size under the Affordable Care Act. Insurers on the state exchange will sell four different levels of coverage labeled as Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Bronze is the lowest cost option because it offers the least amount of insurance coverage toward a person’s medical bills. Coverage increases from there up to the most expensive Platinum plans. Individuals earning less than $46,000 a year and families below $94,000 annually may qualify for subsidies. In California, individuals earning less than $16,000 can get coverage through an expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program for the poor.